Ravenhill beckons for Ballyclare Rugby Club as they step up preparations for their Junior Cup final clash with Ballynahinch II, writes John Gillespie.
Riding high at the top of Qualifying Two, Bob Young’s men have been a revelation this year. With the notable scalps of Qualifying One sides Clogher Valley and Coleraine already under their belts, they are homing in on silverware in Tuesday evening’s showpiece.
It’s been more than a decade since the White Hare men got their hands on the trophy with victory over rivals Carrick in 2002. That ended a 13-year wait since their first success in 1989. Before that you have go back to 1955 for their only other appearance in the final of the competition.
Ballyclare captain Robert Boyd says while his men may not be the favourites with the neutrals, he’s ready for the challenge against last year’s beaten finalists.
“I think we are going to be underdogs going into this game,” he admitted.
“Ballynahinch II have a very strong squad, they are unbeaten all season. They have good experience and a lot of key players but we have been going so well with big wins in the quarter-finals and semi-finals and we have every confidence in ourselves that we can go there and cause an upset.”
He added: “We have a great bunch of guys in th squad at the minute, and to be club captain of such a successful team is a huge honour and without doubt, leading the boys out at Ravenhill is going to be a big highlight for me.”
In-depth interview with Ballyclare’s skipper Robert Boyd online tomorrow at www.newtownabbeytimes.co.uk